Search engine marketing (SEM) is an effective way to reach your target audience on the internet and boost your business. Millions of companies are vying for eyeballs on the web, and SEM is a proven method to attract a good chunk of that traffic to your website.
What is Search Engine Marketing (SEM)?
Search Engine Marketing is touted as one of the most effective internet marketing forms that help you grow your business. It involves promoting your website via paid advertising.
81% of users search the internet for a service or product, states a report by Smart Insights. So, if you want to attract targeted users to your website, you have to seek SEM strategies.
For that, you need to bid to place your ads on platforms like Bing and Google. When users search for specific keywords, your ads will appear alongside search results. These ads are termed pay-per-click (PPC) adverts. They may include small text ads, more prominent product-based ads, visual shopping ads, and more.
The most significant advantage of SEM is that it allows you to place your ads in front of interested users at the right time, i.e., when they’re looking to buy something. This makes SEM a useful and robust advertising tool for business growth.
Google AdWords is an online marketplace that allows companies to pay to get their site ranked on search engines for relative keywords.
Each click on your ad is counted by Google and levies a fee for it. It also keeps track of impressions (the number of times your ad is displayed when users search for the keyword); thus, providing you CTR (click-through-rate).
You can calculate it as
CTR = No. of clicks / No. of impressions
This metric provides you the percentage of visitors who clicked on your ad and landed on your website.
While you need to bid to display ads on Google, it doesn’t merely select the highest bidder but quality ads. So, be wise with your ad creatives.
Advantages of SEM in digital marketing
Now, let’s take a look at how search engine marketing can bring multiple benefits to your business.
- Improve brand awareness
You can publicize your brand name and product in your ad’s headline, description, extension links, and display URL. Your paid ad will appear above search results for the specific keyword, which will increase brand awareness.
- Reach your audience more quickly
SEO (search engine optimization) is a long-term strategy that aims to increase traffic organically. In contrast, paid ads deliver faster results and can quickly improve our service or product’s visibility so you can instantly attract more target customers.
- Easy to create and manage
You can quickly and effortlessly create and manage your paid ads. Google Ads enables you to set a schedule for each campaign – you can start and stop displaying your ads whenever you want. Additionally, you can create a budget and specify your campaign’s performance speed. This allows you to optimize the ads and attract more traffic in a short period.
- Produce geo-targeted ads
You can target users based on location. Craft ads in various languages and select the region, city, and country where they are displayed. Thus, SEM allows you to reach your target audience anywhere in the world.
- Target relevant visitors
With search engine marketing, you can target only interested users in buying your product or service. Display the ads only to visitors who search with keywords related to your service or product. Optimize your ads by ensuring they are triggered only for relevant and connected keywords.
- Pay only for clicks
You can display your ads for free on search results pages, giving your brand exposure and boosting awareness. You’ll be charged only for clicks on the ad, so your budget is well spent.
You can even test the performance of your ads and analyze the results of each campaign. With Google Ads, you can gain detailed data and insights on important metrics such as top-performing keywords, CTR, impressions, clicks, and more. You can use the insights to identify areas for improvement and optimize your ads for enhanced performance.
SEM alternatives you might want to consider
If your budget is limited and you find SEM too competitive, you can consider the following good alternatives.
- Show selected keywords on Google Display Network
This method utilizes Google’s predictive conversion and algorithm models to display your ad based on your keyword choice, the consumer’s buying intent, and when they might convert. This targeting technique is low-risk, and you can test multiple keywords, selecting the best ones.
- Lookalike audiences on Facebook
With this method, you can leverage Facebook’s vast data on user demographics, likes, interests, behavior, etc. It allows you to reach audiences that are similar to your consumer base.
To be successful, you need to produce lookalikes for your most valuable customers. Provide Facebook a list of your consumers with the highest lifetime value to generate a lookalike target audience.
- Competitor targeting on Facebook
This is a great way to benefit from your competitors’ strategies and methods on Facebook. You target Facebook users who subscribe to your competitors’ pages.
This gives you access to an audience that is already shopping for and using the products you offer. You can introduce your offering and brand attractively and competitively to these consumers and convert them into your customers. Even if users don’t convert immediately but only click on your ad and visit your site to get more information about your brand and product, you can retarget them at a later stage.
Search engine marketing with paid ads is a great way to target interested people and direct them to your site. However, SEM’s key is to display optimized search ads that attract potential users that can be converted to paying customers.
If you haven’t yet utilized SEM for your marketing, start immediately and enhance your search engine marketing campaigns’ reach.